500 new teachers join Miami-Dade schools

MIAMI (WSVN) - Miami-Dade County Public Schools has hired 500 new teachers for the 2017-18 school year.

The district welcomed the new educators at Miami Jackson Senior High School, Thursday.

“It’s always a new batch of kids, and I’m excited and, yes, a little bit nervous,” said history and psychology teacher Natalia Allen.

“Excited. I’m not gonna lie, I’m feeling a little nervous because, you know, it’s a new experience,” said English teacher Daniel Gavidia.

“I’m anxious, I’m nervous,” said science teacher Taylor Cornelius. “I’m about the same size as a middle school student, so…”

Superintendent Alberto Carvalho hoped to calm the new teachers’ nerves.

“They’re arriving at a school system that faces incredible poverty, diversity, incredible challenges but also great hope and opportunity, and they are the deliverers of that hope and opportunity for countless kids,” said Carvalho.

A 20-year history teacher said the impact is rewarding.

“Former students who are teachers, former students who are NFL athletes, former students who are olympic athletes,” said U.S. history teacher Laurence Axtell.

Others switched careers, hoping to find purpose beyond the classroom.

“My teachers and my coaches were more than my role models, they were like my idols,” said math teacher/former engineer Jonathan Salmeron, “so I felt like I have that power to kinda, like, help others in that way.”

For the next three days, the teachers will hit the books themselves.

“So we have a lot of training, but that’s so we can be prepared to see all of our students, make sure they get the best services and resources,” said Allen. “They’re giving us resources so that we can better serve our students.”

All teachers will report to their classrooms next week, and all students will head back to school Aug. 21.

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